ESR Celebrates Women of the Sim in the $100,000 ESR Ladies Day Celebration Stakes

A field of Eight Three-Year-Old Fillies will occupy the Big Apple starting gate in the $100,000 ESR Ladies Day Celebration Stakes.  The race will be run at Nine Furlongs over the Dirt Course. 

OFF THE BUCKLE – after a somewhat uneventful 2yo campaign, the spinround trained 3-Year Old Brown Filly by Written Tycoon really burst onto the scene after switching to the Dirt Course to kick off her 3yo season; the improved AUS bred enters the ESR feature off a pair of Allowance victories, one coming at today’s distance over Australia’s top oval in Victoria; this  filly has traveled a long way to make her Stakes debut suggesting her connections impression of their fillies ability…never better

COLD THIS SUMMER – it’s unlikely the kingab trained 3-Year Old Light Grey Filly by Frosted will live down to her name during the summer solstice considering her three victories in her last four starts since stretching out around two turns, the last an impressionable score at 9-panels coming from far back against a horse loose on the lead in a compact field; her Dam has never been much of a producer, but this promising KY-bred clearly surpasses her seven previous siblings…one to beat

LOOKING FINE – the lightly raced aladar trained 3 Year Old Brown Filly by Prontonico will be making her third her third start after a lengthy layoff; smartly prepped for her stakes debut, a Turf start before a 9.5-furlong HOT Race victory over the Dirt Course last out should have this KY-bred filly primed for a top effort; it wouldn’t be the first time her connections lit up the tote board following a similar pattern…learn more today

ABSOLUTE SAINT – trotter1 trained 3 Year Old Light Grey Filly by Frankel seems to have found her niche at 9-furlongs having won her previous two starts at this distance over Turf and dirt; although her only Dirt start came in her last outing, and it came against a compact field, the promising ENG bred left no doubt in her ability to handle the loamy surface and distance; prepped carefully for this outing, connections are hopeful for a good effort here on Saturday…dangerous

GODIVA STORM – the nycowboy trained 3-Year Old Brown Filly by American Pharoah has the distinction of being the only filly in this field to have faced off against stakes competition, that coming in her 2020 debut last time out in the 9-furlong Also Sweet Dirt Filly Route; the lightly raced Ky-bred turned in a solid performance closing ground late against a solid field of stakes placed runners; expect a strong performance in her second start off the  layoff against a vulnerable field…edge

CONFEXIONS – it’s hard to draw a beat on the casino trained 3 Year Old Brown Filly by Candy Ride off her last outing despite the easy victory, but considering the size of the field and the presence of a CPU horse populating the field,  it is hard to place a value on the victory; however there is no mistake on the value of this fillies bloodlines, the DAM having produced multiple stakes winners, two Grade 1 winners including EOY Champion MALIBU VIXEN…nuff said

CADET IS A STARK – the cadet connections seem to have gotten things rolling in the Residency Trainer battle, but this weeks entry of his 3 Year Old Brown Filly by KHOZAN is a horse player’s nightmare; the Florida bred has had things her way against the local competition, but her ability to tangle over both surfaces, both distances and both sexes makes it nearly impossible to put your finger on what she does best; for my money I’d say she is a Dirt router which would make her a strong competitor in today’s feature, but 9/2 is a bit short for my liking, but then the horse can’t read the tote board…your call

HANDZINSKI – the ace trained 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Pioneerof The Nile enter the field off her Maiden victory last time out going 9-furlongs for the first time in her racing career; her convincing 2 length victory left the also ran’s more than 16 lengths behind; was she that good or the field that bad, I don’t know, but I will say that the second and third place finishers exited that race with victories, a true definition of a ‘key race’…you decide


I can’t help but to be drawn in by casino’s CONFEXIONS whose bloodlines on the Dam side suggest a rich and successful career as opposed to kingab’s COLD THIS SUMMER whose Past Performances far exceed her Dam’s expectations.  On paper the latter appears to be the better choice, but pedigree suggests better days ahead for CONFEXIONS, and let’s face it, her PP’s aren’t too shabby either.

When you bring together a field of lightly raced 3yo’s the possibility that someone unexpectantly emerges from the field is a distinct possibility.  OFF THE BUCKLE and HANDZINSKI fall into that category.  OFF THE BUCKLE’s recent display of dominance over the Dirt surface suggests a filly with a stakes victory in the near future, while HANDZINSKI’s last race might be considerably better than just her running line; horses exiting key races are always italicized if racing forms throughout the country and for good reason.  Her last start might have been just that good.  The Rub…5-1 is hardly the price I’d like for a horse with hidden form.

GODIVA STORM could easily be the best horse in this field, she certainly exits a better race than her competitors, but 9-furlongs just might be a football field too far.  Hard to play against, but I have to draw a line somewhere.

CADET IS A STARK always answers the bell, but it’s been my experience to lay off horses that I can’t get a good read on.  Does it backfire…more often than not. 

I am comfortable with running ABSOLUTE SAINT against this field on the Dirt, but let’s face it, you can poke a lot oh holes in her last start.

LOOKING FINE is the longest shot in the field, but certainly has the potential to boost the exotics.  Connections have pulled off the upset before, and this field is ripe for the picking.


CONFEXIONS – cream rises to the top, sugary selection

COLD THIS SUMMER – can’t ignore current form

HANDZINSKI – I’ve always been a sucker for an angle, and at higher odds I might be all over this one

One thought on “ESR Celebrates Women of the Sim in the $100,000 ESR Ladies Day Celebration Stakes

  • March 27, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    I’ve really got to run in one of these again. Thanks Pete, you’re the best handicapping writer around.

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